Posts for News Monitoring Tools
How many times have you heard the phrase, "They talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?" In the news monitoring industry we've seen many newcomers enter the space with a lot to say, and many sales people saying it. Usually, the pitch purports to do something at a lower cost, allowing you to do it yourself, or providing some automated function designed to make the job of the public relations professional easier.
All three of these service differentiators are great prospects to a news monitoring or media analysis client. In the end, users must ask themselves if they truly feel the new vendor can deliver what they promise...can they "walk the walk"?
At Total News Tracking we counsel clients with honest and direct solutions, regardless of which vendor they choose. Call this part of our "Good Karma" marketing. This post provides three easy steps to help news monitoring and media analysis users separate the talkers from the walkers.
- Don't let the price of one component of your news monitoring needs distract you from the total cost. Just like cable companies, wireless providers, and telecom services have learned, bundled media monitoring services can hide your true costs. Look at YOUR user patterns, then decide which vendor has the best overall service for you. You can save on tracking, only to get slammed with the cost of clips.
- Serving yourself can seem like a real treat, but...! If you're like most PR professionals and corporate communicators, you haven't found a hidden cache of extra hours in your day. This is a brutal reality. Do you really have the time to filter your results, preview broadcast clips, and create the tightly edited clips you need? What about creating filtered reports and measurement reports for your team? Make sure your vendor can do these things for you if needed.
- Be sure "automatic" is helpful to you, and not more harmful. With most news monitors now having computer assisted monitoring and similar portals, be aware of the vendor promise that automates tasks that only trained people can do well. For example, if you need real media measurement and metrics, don't let automated metrics thrown in at no cost drive your decision. Human analysts can analyze media to a 93% accuracy rate, automated analysis averages only a 55% accuracy rate.
Before signing on the line with any vendor, check their references and have them provide a complete proof of service. If they can only show you "some" of what they'll ultimately deliver to you, ask them why. No user, in any industry, should be afraid to make their vendors walk the walk before buying their talk.
Leave your comment with any other tips you have for checking the "walk" against the "talk". Thanks!
Yes, some of you have helped us crowdsource a new brand for Utah News Clips. The obvious risk is that we would alienate some long-time, dedicated clients as we change our name to better reflect all of our services. Come May of this year we will be celebrating three years since our expansion into complete news monitoring and analysis. Although we are still the only nationwide news monitoring service with a local service and production office in Utah, our client list has grown to include many companies outside of Utah. For this reason Utah News Clips will be changing our name to Total News Tracking.
I want to thank those who helped in our branding survey. Total News Tracking emerged as the clear winner as it "best described" the services we deliver. What does this mean to our clients? Nothing, other than you will see our name change and a different logo on our marketing materials. Our data validation, production, and sales team are right here in Salt Lake City and will remain in Salt Lake City. We feel very committed to our community and can't imagine not being a strong resident and contributor to the state of Utah.
In terms of services, we just continue to add news monitoring and media analysis services that our clients request. From Utah News Clips (becoming Total News Tracking) you can get:
- Local or Nationwide TV/Radio News Monitoring
- The ability to preview then edit important broadcast stories
- Quantitative and Qualitative metrics of all media exposure
- Press Clippings and published news content
- Web and social media monitoring
- Media Contacts and Releasing services
- NewsTrackPro: Our fully integrated portal delivering same day news from all media
What do we need? We need your help in spreading the news of our new name. Same great people, same great customer experience. But Total News Tracking is the company that organizations, large and small, are now turning to for all of their news monitoring needs. We would love to hear your comments and look forward to engaging with you as we roll out our new image.
Thank you for almost 30 years of supporting Utah News Clips. We are very excited to continue our relationship with you as our image grows to match our services.
I've heard this phrase many times, and each time it strikes me as a riddle. Is there more to this question than the words convey? When it comes to your name, personally, the words of your name tend to take on the personality of the man or woman behind the name, not the other way around. Similarly, the name of a company or service says much about what they do...or at least it should.
At Utah News Clips we've been providing broadcast monitoring services for almost 30 years. However, since May of 2009 we have become a complete news monitoring and media analysis service. In the first 26 years we provided just what our name implied, broadcast news clips from the Utah area only. After purchasing the company in 2009, I added in the full scope of print, web, and social media monitoring to compliment our comprehensive TV/Radio monitoring. Additionally, we are now a leading provider of media measurement and analysis services.
Beyond what we do, news monitoring and analysis, our region and client base has also expanded. No longer limited to primarily the Utah region for clients, we are now serving clients across the country. What this all means is that Utah News Clips has quickly transformed into a service that can provide all the services clients need in Utah and beyond. For this reason you will begin seeing some new names coming from us. First and foremost we have brought on Chad Carpenter to power our sales and client relations effort. Chad has extensive experience in demonstrating the value of a service, which we believe will help bring our solutions to a wider range of clients. Secondly, over the next several months you will see a gradual transformation on how our brand reflects our services.
Like our primary competitors, Cision and Critical Mention, our branding and marketing will begin to better reflect the true personality of our company. We will always be a Utah company, headquartered in Salt Lake City, and staffed with Utah residents, but more information from us will reflect our expanded services and region. Again, we are still the only company with a full staff on the ground in Utah, ready to serve any need, but we need to get the word out that there is more to us than just Utah news clips. Your help in spreading that word is certainly welcomed.
Yes, we have many #newtools, but the #samerules of service apply now as much as ever. Our Core Values are:
-Deliver consistent Quality
-Surpass Client Expectations
-Honest & Direct Communication
-Maximize each team member’s strengths
I believe that it is our attention to the above values that have so strongly driven our growth in the past two years and I look forward to a very long relationship with all of our clients. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions or feedback on what service means to your brand. We're also interested in all feedback as we begin the process of re-branding Utah News Clips.
Interestingly, this blog post started out as an experiment to find out how engaging location-based mobile platforms truly are. Many people won't deny that they've either not heard of Foursquare, or have heard of it and asked, "But why?" Like all #newtools in the social media world, or any new tool for that matter, adoption only occurs if the question of "Why?" can be answered. Why participate in Foursquare? Why would I want to take the time, effort, or bother checking in as I travel about my day?
I've tested/played/worked Foursquare for about six months now, and my basic summation is that Foursquare does not suck. I know I've only scratched the surface of what circumstances and environments are right for location based social tools like this, but here's what I can share.
First, Foursquare seems to work best when your community, or your friends, operate on a level playing field. If for example you spend most of your days at a desk in an office, but the rest of your friends or family are mobile and moving throughout the greater environment, you will never score well. You may become Mayor of your office, or even your cubicle, but you'll never have the points you get from checking in and a variety of places. Besides, there's just not enough engagement in this scenario to make it worthwhile if you don't go anywhere.
Second, Foursquare is awesome for close groups of friends or families. When you mix the game theory with the ability to comment and post pictures, your result is a somewhat competitive platform that engages the group. I enlisted my family (2 kids, a wife, plus me). We now scramble to check-in from our smartphones, or iPOD Touch in the case of my daughter, to see who can maximize their points. You soon learn the strategy to maybe be the second person to check in and garner those additional points because your "BFF" is there. I know, kind of corny, but so is Karaoke and that's hugely popular.
Finally, Foursquare is great for business to consumer location based check-in and event check-in. Restaurants, soccer fields, movie theaters, grocery stores, office buildings, concerts are all among places you can check in. If you don't see it, add it based on the GPS location of the space you want to add. There are obvious marketing benefits to what you add and how you name it, not to mention the tips you might post...or hopefully your visitors post. Offering discounts and consumer generated recommendations are very good reasons to try Foursquare, but probably not compelling enough to be the only reason to try it.
Where I think Foursquare fails, simply because of the model and not their platform, is that it offers very little in the way of business to business engagement. I have a hard time applying the location-based game platform to a B2B model, but maybe someone can suggest ideas and leave them in the comments below. Still, at a simple level, it has provided an engaging platform that my whole family can participate in no matter where we are. I even enabled my Android phone as a 3G mobile hot spot with Verizon so my 10 year old daughter can play when there's not wi-fi in the wild for her.
Ultimately, many find a "who cares" factor kicks in after using Foursquare. Of those informally polled, about 50% said they were no longer checking in. I also believe that the over saturation of "daily deals" makes the deals provided by Foursquare less compelling. For me, I enjoy it. When visiting a new city it is nice to push for a all time high score as you visit new points.
With Groupon and LivingSocial the behemoths in the geospecific advertising world, and more niche deal sources coming on line every day, are we getting too much of a good thing? Utah News Clips helps track and analyze advertizing and news. The question of ROI, especially in the social media realm, is always foremost on the minds of our subscribers.
As a guest blogger for The Daily Cowbell I explored the problem of daily deal overload. My opinion on the matter likens the situation to that of news saturation. To much information makes it difficult for the consumer to to discern between the options, and therefore they tune out. News or discounts, over-amplification of "the message" creates noise...much like when you turn your sound system up to 11.
Visit the Daily Cowbell and tell me what you think. Too many deals, not enough, or just right?
Next topic: Foursquare for the Family-increasing utilization by involving the whole gang.
Welcome to our first ravings related to news, information consumption, social media, tools of dissemination, and how all this is impacted by Human Nature. Universal Information Services has created this blog to illuminate ideas related to the intersection of communication fundamentals and new channels of information distribution. Basically, our media analysis and position as a news monitoring service has led us to the conclusion that the fundamental rules of public relations communications has not changed, only the tools we have at our disposal are new (#SameRules #NewTools).
We’ve even chosen to hash tag these two phrases to underscore the importance that social media has on media engagement, media placement, and public perception. It is true, social media has greatly enhanced our methods of communication. But be careful, professional communication by any mode has not fundamentally changed. Therefore our blog will feature postings related to two areas of public relations and communications. We'll also focus on issues related to news monitoring, media analysis, social network influence. From press clipping to TV news clips to web monitoring, our broad spectrum of news monitoring and media analysis experience opens a wide door for discussion.
First, the fundamentals of writing style and the need for compelling content are not new. If you can’t write, spell, structure a sentence, or convey compelling ideas, it does not matter what channel you use to communicate, your audience will remain small and ephemeral. The same basic rules of communication survive today and are only slightly modified to match each medium (print, broadcast, web, social).
Second, how you harness the enormous power of the new tools like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Foursquare is a testament to your ability to apply your skills across the #NewTools. You should be thinking “in addition to” rather than “instead of”. Human nature, as well as common sense, dictates that one should meet their target audience through whatever communication tool they prefer. For this reason all of us need to stop referring to social media as something outside of mainstream media. Never has a new medium supplanted an older medium. Newspapers did not kill discussion, radio did not kill newspapers, television did not kill radio, the Web did not kill television, and social media will not kill any of the aforementioned mediums. The communication pie only expands while dividing into smaller pieces for each medium…growth instead of replacement.
I’m sure some will hold on to the false notion that there has been a complete shift in the communication paradigm. I hope to receive comments that the world has changed as we know it and we will forever be changed. These comments will help prove that no matter what our technical mode of discourse may be, human nature controls how we communicate…and that is fundamentally unchanged.
I am not a writer. You will see an overabundance of commas in my postings and I may not always structure my sentences correctly. Yes, you may correct me if you want, but in the end it is the ideas I’m hoping to spark interest with, not my writing prowess.
#SameRules #NewTools represents an extension of the media research we do here at Universal. This blog is for the “engaged community”. This does not mean only those who are social media savvy, but anyone who understands that humans create content and humans consume information. Those who fail to consider human nature when creating tools are doomed to repeat history by creating solutions that are DOA. There will be little acceptance of their #NewTool because they have chosen to ignore the importance of the #SameRules.
Future topics include: Niche content and The Long Tail, The Importance of Compelling Content, and an answer to the “Who Cares” question (ROI).
To balance my prior posting (Top 3 Reasons To Attend Conferences #NewTools), and an important point on its own, I believe one should not make a career of attending conferences. Over the last three years we have observed the emergence of those who are on a quest to be the most well educated person working in the new media/social media space. This effort is great when balanced with effort and output. But, when one simply makes a career out of attending meetings and conferences without pausing to create and further the initiatives of their company or client, it is largely wasted time and money. Agency and corporate communications personnel are equally susceptible to this problem.
We’ll call these offenders “perpetual attendees”. You’ve seen them. They have been to all the hot meetings, have collected the free swag on their desks, and are able to rattle off names like Shankman, Scoble, Vaynerchuk, and Evan Williams like they are close friends.
The aforementioned guys are very likeable, knowledgeable, and have brought much to our evolving media landscape. But the relationships most have with them are no different than my friendship with Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway…The Oracle of Omaha. I’ve seen him several times, been at arms length to Mr. Buffett, but we don’t “know” each other. Am I better for seeing and hearing him talk on finance and investing, for sure. But I don’t see him speak every time he’s available. I gather nuggets of wisdom from Mr. Buffett, and then apply them to my business and personal efforts. Similarly, industry conferences and learning opportunities work to impart nuggets of information I can apply to helping my clients or colleagues.
So, when deciding if I should attend a conference, for me it comes down to common sense (#SameRules). Will I learn something new or be inspired in a way that will benefit news monitoring and media analysis service, my clients, or my work/life balance? Can I improve our press clipping or web monitoring service? Am I free for the dates of the conference without any other true obligations? If the answer is “No” to either of these questions, then I will skip the conference and catch a different one. Basically, am I going to learn something new AND use what I learn? If not, skip it. That’s the good thing about conferences; there are so many opportunities if you just look. See the links on my prior post for some good sources of meetings.
Leave your comments about your number one reason for skipping a conference. All theory and no application does nothing for your company or clients. If you’re not adding value in your position, there’s somebody out there who will.
The conference season has been in full swing over the past 30 days, as if it ever really slows down, and we have three great reasons you should make conference attendance a regular part of your business and new media education.
First, if you at all have a passion for your job or what you are pursuing, then continuing education must be a part of that path you follow to success. Nearly every industry, and variation within industries, has some form of a meeting where you can learn new tricks, rub elbows with peers, and hear from experts in your field. My news monitoring and media analysis industry has no less than five opportunities per year. I can attend PRSA, IABC, NDS, and even Rotary conferences...and many others. All of these opportunities allow you to further yourself in your position. Whether CEO or intern, gaining new perspectives is an essential part of fully realizing your potential. Here are a few resources I use to find helpful conferences in my areas of interest.
http://www.bigomaha.com/ (don’t let the name fool you, this may be the most important conference you ever attend)
Second, if your success depends on your own creativity, then attending industry meetings and conferences allows you to get outside of your own head. At Universal Information Services my primary role is to envision, create, and deploy new services for our clients. I have implemented all of Universal’s TV and Radio monitoring, media analysis, and web monitoring services…but only through the insight I’ve gained from my pears throughout the industry. Developing services in a vacuum can be a dangerous path to believing all that you dream up is of great value to others. Interacting with competitive and cooperative peers exposes you to ideas that help keep your own mind in check and accelerates your own development.
Third, the ability to connect the dots may be the greatest benefit to attending conferences. I refer to connecting the dots as the ability to hear new ideas at meetings and conferences, but hearing them in a way that connects with a seemingly unrelated concept you may have rattling around in your head. This is critical to innovation. I use The Action Method, developed by Scott Belsky’s mind at Behance, to help me manage my ideas and visions This should be mandatory training for anyone with a creative thought.
Leave your comments on what conferences you have found the most beneficial. I’m always looking for better ways to get outside my head and connect the dots. Many of these fun ideas are found in our new site.
Next post: Number 1 Reason to Skip A Conference
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Total News Tracking has created this blog to illuminate ideas related to the intersection of communication fundamentals and new channels of information distribution. Our media analysis and position as a news monitoring service has led us to the conclusion that the fundamental rules of public relations communications has not changed, only the tools we have at our disposal are new (#TheNewsTracks).